The McDuffie County Tax Commissioner's Office received special and exclusive recognition from the Georgia Legionnaires. Members of the department met at the tax office on Wednesday, June 14, to present the tax commissioner a framed certificate of appreciation for flying the POW/MIA flag in front of the office.
Georgia Legionnaires present a framed certificate to Tax Commissioner Sandra Whitaker (center) during a ceremony at her office last week.
"This is the only establishment in McDuffie that flies the POW/MIA flag five days a week. And they paid for their own flag. ... To find a business that does that is a rarity. This is the first certificate ever given out in the state, I believe," said J. R. Jenkins, the POW/MIA Co-Chairman for the Department of Georgia.
Tax Commissioner Sandra Whitaker said she started displaying the flag after hearing Mr. Jenkins talk about it while he was in the office getting his car tag in 2001. She said Mr. Jenkins told a story of taking a POW/MIA flag somewhere, and a child walked up to him and asked what "pow meema" meant.
Ms. Whitaker said she feels it is important for the flag to be displayed so children can learn about veterans, and others will remember the prisoners and veterans of wars and those missing or killed during war.
"I just feel like it's an important issue," she said.
Mr. Jenkins said her office has paid for all the expenses of flying the flag, including the cost of replacement and proper lighting. Ms. Whitaker said the flag has to be replaced about every three months. She said several people have thanked them for displaying the flag, but she never considered receiving any recognition for it.
"I was shocked," she said about the certificate presentation. "I don't know if it's something new they just started, or what. It was sweet for all of them to come and do this."